I always love looking for a good deal! There is nothing better than looking down at your receipt and seeing all that moolah you saved. Am I right? Being a stay at home mom means lots of playing, diaper changing and cleaning. But another big part of my job is to save our family money, especially since we don’t have my income anymore. I have had the opportunity to share with multiple friends how I have saved money for our family and had even more opportunities to learn from other wives and mamas out there their special tips on this issue. So I thought I would share what tips I have gathered and spread the love. So here we go!
Cleaning: There are so many products out there for cleaning your house. The name brand products usually cost an arm and a leg to buy, not to mention have a lot of harsh chemicals in them. Although there are certain products that I buy that are off brand, there is nothing that I LOVE more than hot vinegar and water. I swear, it beats any other cleaning product there is out there. I use a 1:1 ratio of these two ingredients to clean the following: cabinets and counter tops, my wood floors, oven and microwave, back splash in the kitchen, washer and dryer….just about anything that needs a good scrubbing. The only other products that I buy is bleach and off brand Pine Sole and Windex and Oxyclean. This has saved us SO MUCH MONEY over the past year since I changed to hot vinegar and water. The only downside is that it can smell a bit strong, but I just flip on the fan and in about 10 minutes the smell is gone and everything is squeaky clean 🙂 Also, I use old toothbrushes, socks and reusable rags to do all of my cleaning. No worries – no old underwear for cleaning here!
Diapers: Every babies bum is shaped differently and different brands hold up better than others. But for us, Wal-Mart and Pampers work great for Nora’s backside. To save money, we use Wal-Mart diapers during the day and Pampers overnight diapers for night time. The off brand costs about half than the name brand and work great for us. On average, it saves us about $70.00 a month by using this method. Yay for big savings!
Diaper Genie: Some people swear by all things Diaper Genie. And I swear by the Diaper Genie Elite, but not the refill bags. They run about $7 a refill, but I have found the next best thing! They are Scents trash bags from Wal-Mart. They come in 4 different scents and are just the right size for the Diaper Genies. They come in a roll of 60 and sell for $3 per roll. I normally double bag with each refill and don’t let out that lovely dirty diaper smell at all. Again, LOTS of money saving with this one!
Price Matching: Some people don’t know about Wal-Mart’s little secret that they price match EVERYTHING! At the beginning of the week, I go through the newspaper and find the best prices on what we need from about 5 different stores. Then, I write down the list of what we need and what ever is price matched, then I write the price and where it is cheaper next to the item. The folks at the check out line are pretty good about being up to date on where things are on sale at other stores and I’ve never once been asked to show them the add from the paper. Wal-Mart also takes online coupons from product’s websites and add that onto the price matched price. When I buy, I always buy in twos – two cans of beans, two jugs of laundry detergent, two boxes of trash bags…that I way I never run out. Whenever I notice we are low, I have a notepad on the fridge that is always being added to for my next Wal-Mart trip, that way I never forget anything! And you always get a free show of crazy Olathe people at Wal-Mart…it’s a win-win situation in my book.
Meal Planning: This kind of goes along with the previous money saving tip. Not only does it save our family money, but it saves hassle and stress when cooking for the week. I normally plan our meals two weeks out in advance and base a lot of what we are going to eat on what is on sale. I normally take my cook book along with me to the store, just to double check and make sure I have what I need to make all of our favorite meals. We eat a lot of leftovers in our house as well. Normally, the dishes I make are pretty big and they are large enough for us to eat two meals, plus give Eric and meal or two to bring for his lunch at work during the week. I never used to be a big leftover fan, but I have grown to enjoy not having to cook EVERY night of the week. Makes things a lot easier for me, especially when we have a busy, whiny day (we all know that those happen with our kids, right?). I also cut and store all of our fruits and veggies at the beginning of the week to cut down on preparation time.
Clothes: Lucky for me, I get a lot of clothes for free or at cost from my Mom’s store. But there are a lot of things that Zuzu’s doesn’t have that the rest of our family needs. For Nora, I almost NEVER buy anything for full price. I have signed up for coupons, emails and free giveaways from multiple children’s clothing stores around the area and have gotten some great deals over the past year. Some of the places I buy for her are Carter’s, Children’s Palace, Babies R Us, The Mommy Shop, etc. Another place that we have found to get great deals for our family is (yes, you guessed it) at Wal-Mart. Believe it or not, they have some amazing stuff in the women’s section for me and the prices are unbeatable. For Eric, Kohl’s has some great deals as well, especially in their men’s dress department. Again, I almost NEVER buy anything unless it’s on sale.
Flylady: If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. If you haven’t checked her website out, DO IT! By doing only 15 minutes of cleaning a day, my house is in great shape and I’m not constantly trying to play catch up on house work. In the long run, by keeping up with cleaning and organizing, I am able to save tons of money for our family.
So there are some of the money saving tips I have acquired over the past year of being a SAHM. I hope some of these can be helpful and save your home some money as well 🙂